My Life In Tech is putting human faces to some of the innovative startups, investments and policy formations driving the technology sector across Africa.
Femi Adebayo is, perhaps, among a class of Nigerian undergraduates who truly understand the incessant hammering on not focusing or relying on your university degree to provide you with the career or life of your dreams. After giving up dreams to become an aeronautical engineer, Adebayo found software development in university and has unrelentlessly pursued all the opportunities therein against all odds.
The last time I was in a university hostel, I was at the Queen Moremi Hall in the Akoka campus of the University of Lagos, meeting the younger sister of a friend. While in her room, herself and her roommates bantered over a number of subjects until they arrived at the unlit bulb hanging down the center of the ceiling. The room had been without light for a few days and despite reporting to the porter, an elderly woman who oversees the young women in a female hostel, and being promised someone would come fix the issue, they remained in the dark.
Femi Adebayo, a 300L Systems Engineering student at the University of Lagos, privy to similar challenges, decided to build a platform to bridge this gap.
“When I wanted to paint my room at the beginning of a new semester, I had to go meet the porter. The porter had to file a request and it took three more days before I could get the room painted,” Adebayo tells me.
Adebayo thought that this was a need he could help students solve; directly connecting them with artisans to speed up repairs and fixes without school bureaucracies. He shared his idea with a friend who came up with a million and one ways why the idea wouldn’t work.
“We always see reasons why ideas won’t work, but ideas don’t [fully] reveal themselves at first,” Adebayo says.
Determined to see his idea through, Adebayo had a solution ready for the concerns his friend raised. They met with artisans individually registering them on their platform and sorting them based on their locations. The idea was also to have students who did not live on campus as well as other Lagosians use the platform to find artisans when they needed it.
To start—purchasing cloud services, domain name, hosting, business name registration, etcetera— Adebayo and his partner, Yemi saved up weekly allowances and launched ArtisanGet
With over 40 artisans signed up and 30-40 users monthly, the journey is just beginning for the young entrepreneur. When they launched in his 200L, the platform received 3% commissions from artisans after each transaction but that has now increased to 15%. The prices the artisans charge the students and other users are on a per case basis.
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